The night I nearly died (but actually didn't)

Every time I get out in the sun for a short while, or even sometimes when I’m a little hot and bothered, the same question invariably gets asked of me:

“What did you do to your head?”

“Um, when I was 9, I fell head first through a glass door”

See, I have a huge scar and a lump on the upper left side of my forehead that seems to glow red whenever my face develops some colour.  It gives the appearance of a very fresh wound, despite the fact it is now almpst 24 years old.

So, despite the fact that I have already entered the biopic “Creation of the Mangina” regarding one of my other scars, in a further attempt to make my life sound drastically more interesting than it actually is, I am going to regale you with the tale of how I got this technicolour head wound.

So, way way back in 1989, on the May day bank holiday, my parents were upstairs doing some painting or, more likely, some wall papering of some description.  My brother and I were downstairs playing and for whatever reason, we were spinning around as fast as we could trying to make ourselves as dizzy as possible.


Why is not a question you ask of a 9 and a 7 year old; we have no motivation; we just DO.

So we were spinning frantically and I thought I needed to sit down, so I stumbled towards the couch.  The couch was at a right angle to the entrance to our lounge room, which was a double door sort of arrangement, with both doors containing two frosted glass panels.
I approached the couch, but my dizziness threw me off course and I careened head first into the bottom panel of the glass door. 

This is when time slowed down a bit, or at the very least got oddly specific.  I remember pulling my head back out of the door and seeing a very large pane of glass slide down in front of my face, guillotine style, and then standing up and screaming. 

I remember standing at the bottom of the stairs, still screaming and seeing my mum and dad bolting down the stairs as fast as they could.  The thought entered my head that I was going to be in BIG TROUBLE for smashing the door so I ran away from them screaming “call an ambulance!” in a bid to startle them enough that they would show sympathy rather than anger towards me. 

My brother clearly had the same thought in his head (does this reflect badly on our parents) as he was yelling “HE DID IT! HE BROKE THE DOOR NOT ME!”

Vile betrayer!

Anyway, I’m still running around with my dad chasing me and I become suddenly aware that my mum IS on the phone, calling an ambulance and I remember thinking to myself “Really?? I only have a tiny cut on my finger, it’s not that bad!” when out of nowhere a tea-towel flicks past my head and a hand comes reaching around the front of me, catching the towel and then pulling my head back.

As I crashed backwards into my dad, the tea-towel firmly squeezed around my head, a torrent of blood flooded past my eyes and that was the first moment I thought “oh wow, I might be in trouble here”

Mum told me years later that she had never seen my dad so terrified, sitting on the couch with me on the floor in front of him, pulling that tea towel tight around my head, shaking and white.

The neighbours came over to see what was going on and if they could help.  I have a feeling they might have taken my brother over to their place as I have no memory of him that night once he’d sold me out!

Then the ambulance came and I was excessively chatty, which for me is normal, but for others it is highly irritating.  The paramedic kept telling me to be quiet, to lie back, and to relax, to which I took mighty offence and made secret evil plots against him!

Once we got to the hospital they put me on a bed, but still out in the waiting room.  A lot of people were looking at me and making comments, but I didn’t really know what they were talking about.
My grandparents showed up and in true grandmother fashion, my nana said to my mum that she just knew something bad was going to happen with those glass doors and only days earlier she’d been thinking about it.  I really must ask her what she thinks next week’s lottery numbers will be!

I don’t think we had to wait all that long and once we were in a room, the nurse went to take the bandage off my head that the paramedics had put on.  I remember her very clearly saying “Let’s just have a look and see if the bleeding has stopped…….Woah! Oops, let’s just put that back on shall we?”

The doctor came a little while later to stitch me up, but whilst giving me the local anaesthetic for the wound, he miscalculated and stuck the needle in the top middle of my head, nowhere near where I was cut!  Astute readers will remember that approximately 15 years later, again when getting a local anaesthetic, that doctor snapped the needle off IN the wound. So I guess I’m cursed never to have anaesthetic go well!

Anyway, after all that only 6 stitches and off home we went.  My grandparents must have driven us because both mum and dad came in the ambulance.

And now back at home, I was sent up for a bath and for the first time saw my reflection.  Now I knew why my dad was shaking, why the paramedic wanted me to be quiet and lie down, why people were staring at me in the waiting room and why the nurse put that bandage back on so quickly…….My white blonde hair was now completely Russet brown and very crusty and my face was not really visible beneath the dried on blood.  It was so gross. 

The reason my scar glows red though still remains a mystery. However, at least now everyone can know how I got it and can rest assured I have not recently headbutted anyone or anything.

Day 5 - Movie World!!

Once again up very early and back for a run. Went a little bit further today and did not get tired one little bit. Could have done a Forrest Gump and run forever. I have decided I am solar powered as I seem to run better in the sun.

STILL deaf in one ear, highly frustrating I can tell you!

Everyone was up and bustling about quite early today as we were going to MOVIEWORLD. The girls were very excited at the prospect of getting lots of photos taken with the characters. Jarrad was mostly excited about the stunt show, but Mike and I just wanted to hit the rides.

We got there nice and early and didn't have to queue up too long outside. We got ourselves a locker and headed off to the Looney Tunes Village to do the nice little warm up roller coaster....

But none of the rides opened until 10.30 - a half hour wait!!

So the girls managed to squeeze in a few shots of themselves with the characters and we slipped into the Shrek 4-D show which to be honest was kinda boring, but then we were OUTTA there. We did the warm up kiddie roller coaster, good fun, and then went for the big ones. 

Straight to the Superman Escape.

Oh my gosh!! All other rollercoasters are now officially crap by comparison to this ride. I went on with Janet and let's just say - If I hadn't been deaf in one ear BEFORE I went on the ride, I would almost certainly have been deaf after. She has a very impressive lung capacity that Janet!!

From there it was off to the new Batman ride which is like the giant drop, but in reverse. Like his wife, Jarrad had a nice big scream, but I found it a little lacklustre, the most "thrilling" part being the sheer panic at not being able to get my harness off at the end of the ride and 
Jarrad casually walking away and leaving me to struggle with it!

Then it was off to Wild Wild West where we got absolutely drenched and subsequently spent the rest of the day smelling like mouldy old pondwater. Then Scooby Doo which had previously been my favourite, but as I already mentioned, now paled by comparison to the Superman Escape.

Then it was off to lunch and to watch the stunt show. Not my cup of tea really, but the drivers were very impressive. When they were driving round on two wheels there was a small part of me that wanted to see a car over balance, but I'm sadistic like that!

From there it was off to the river ride, the highlight of which was seeing Elmer Fudd on his hands and knees peering down a hole looking not unlike he was having a giant spew!

Then Lethal Weapon. This ride is ALMOST as good as Superman, except for the ear-bashing you get on the cork screw part of it. Everyone got off feeling a little punch drunk I think and we were a bit wobbly on our legs, but still good fun. 

We saw a little bit of the Batman street show (terrible dancers pretending to be Martial Artists - PAHAHAHAHA!) and then went back and did all the rides again, but this time intentionally being total posers for the photos, which we did in fact purchase. 

 Naughty dancers!!

All up I think Mike and I hit the Superman ride 5 times, always endeavouring to get to the front, but never quite getting there (although we did get on the front on our second shot at Lethal Weapon).

Back at home and we hit up the pool again which was surprisingly warm whilst those lovely girls whipped up a very delicious spaghetti bolognaise for tea.

For dessert we decided to venture down the street to Baskin + Robbins, but lo, the heavens did open up and it did pour down rain on us! Nice warm rain though.

Glad it held off til then though.....

They shut the Superman Ride when it rains!

Day 4 of our Queensland Adventure

Another insanely bright and early morning, but I didn't feel like running, so I walked down to the little convenience store (believe me, you pay for the convenience) and bought some milk and cotton buds because my ears were waterlogged. I then sat out on the balcony and just read my book, which incidentally I was not really enjoying, but ploughed on through regardless whilst I waited for everyone else to get up

Mike and I were hoping our fitness fanaticism would be infectious, but to no avail. Jarrad point blank refused and the girls were still getting ready (possibly still getting ready from Sunday!!). To her credit, Janet did smash out a few sit ups with us!

Today we went into Surfer's Paradise to have a general look around. Jarrad dropped us off and then went out to a Dick Johnson racing thing that he wanted to go to. He came back with some dvd's and some photos of cars so I think he had a good time.

The girls wanted to do a day spa sort of thing so Mike and I left them, and went for a wander around town. We checked out a live shooting range, but it was a bit expensive and the guys in there looked like they would much rather shoot us in the face than have us shooting at targets.

We found the most EPIC Timezone and decided we would come back there later on with everyone else, but did stay long enough to jump in those massage chairs. They were very good, although I'm not too sure what was going on in the butt department. All I know is Mike and I both burst out laughing at the exact same time, so whatever was happening to me, was obviously happening to him too.

We found a nice little Irish pub. Actually, it wasn't that hard to find as there are about 3000 Irish pubs on the main street of Surfer's Paradise. We went inside after being greeted at the door by two bikini clad meter maids, and got ourselves a pint of Kilkenny to wash down the Gelati we had previously had (mine was lime - a tad surreal). It was very relaxing just sitting out on the balcony with a pint looking down onto the street and watching everyone ferreting around. 

We then went for a walk around town and took some photos of the sights.  It was nice and cruisy really.

We met up with Jarrad and went to find the girls but they were STILL getting pampered (their massage chairs cost considerably more than ours did!!) so we manly men headed off to Dracula's Haunted Mansion!!

It was very cool.

It's basically 4 levels of scary stuff that you walk through. Kind of like Infinity, but with more of a horror feel. One of the coolest features was getting into the elevator and with lighting effects and a small window, you get the impression that you are going down when you are in fact going up. I had figured this out in my head, but I imagine the shock of walking down all the stairs when you are in there, after thinking you've gone down the elevator and then coming out at the place you started is probably quite startling for some.

Truth be told it wasn't THAT scary, although I think fear of the unknown is probably the worst part of the gimmick. Nothing really jumps out at you, it's just lots of skeltons and prosthetic monsters. And it's very dark too. The coolest thing was the guy getting smashed up by a circular saw. It was just a dummy, but it screamed and thrashed around whilst this circular saw kept swining all over it! Jarrad would never admit it publicly, but he was a little bit hesitant about going round corners first.

We went back to that Irish pub for lunch (possibly. There were a lot of Irish pubs) and then we went across to Timezone. We played some pretty cool games, rode a porcelain horse, failed miserably at getting six of us in a photo booth so compromised and did a quick dash to swap over from boys to girls in between photos! Despite being massively buff and super strong, Mike and I did NOT beat the record on the strength tester machine. Clearly it is rigged. We walked out of there with a cool ball to play with in the pool and this air dart gun thing that was actually kinda nifty.

We hit up a supermarket and I had my first Red Eye for 2009. For those who know me well, you understand that my feelings towards Red Eye border on sexual (they don't really) and therefore understand that this was a momentous occasion for me.

Before leaving, Amy got one of those technicolour worm thingos put in her hair. It looked good, although a little stiff at first and looked not unlike a wonky antenna until she got it wet!

Back home to the pool where my ear got waterlogged again and this time would NOT go away. Very frustrating being completely deaf in one ear!

Then we went to Sizzler for tea. Why they got rid of Sizzler in Geelong is quite beyond me. It ROCKS! Seriously, it is fantastic and I loved the food. Great value for money because of the all you can eat salad bar, which includes everything from salad (obviously) to soup, pasta, and nachos! Bring it on! Can we please start a facebook group petitioning the return of Sizzler to our fair town?!! That said, Leah's steak was not cooked properly, but they were very nice about it and gave her a full refund even though she didn't ask for one.

We were all pretty pooped that night so we crashed at home and watched an X-Men movie and ate some of the popcorn we'd bought, but it was with great excitement that we all fell asleep that night.....

.... For the very next day we were going to.....


Day 3 - Wet'n'Wild!

The first of our theme park days!!

Once again I was up at a ridiculous hour and since nobody else was up I decided to go for a run along the foreshore. It was beautiful outside and just a really nice run. Don't know how far I went, but it was about twenty minutes.

Mike and I hit the gym when he got up, but it turned out to be pretty crappy. The equipment was so rickety that we were frightened it might collapse on or under us if we used it. So instead we just cranked out some push ups and some abs.

Then it was off to Wet and Wild!!!

We met Steve and Leo in the car park and joined the queue. It was a scorcher of a day and so we were all sweating bullets before we'd even gone through the gate!!

The first ride we hit up was the Kamikaze which is basically a "u" bowl. You sit in an inflatable raft facing each other and then drop down from the top with one going forwards and one going backwards and then you slide up the other side and just keep going back and forth til you stop in the middle at the bottom. It was great. I went with Mike, but by far the best reaction came from Leo who screamed very loudly something I don't think I can write in here. Hilarious.

Then we hit up the tornado, then the black hole (meh), then the MACH 5!!!

The Mach 5 is basically a vertical drop of about 60m and you just free fall. It's excellent except I got the mother of all wedgies at the bottom. I was very proud of Leah for going on it.

Then we went on the surfrider. I was a little bit nervous about this one, I have to admit. It's basically a horseshoe shaped track with a giant surboard on it. On the surfboard are two sets of seats grouped in outwards facing circles and they spin around. As the surfboard swings back and forth on the track, your seats spin and when you are virtually hanging upside down and all of a sudden spin round to look face first at the ground before plummeting towards it - well, it's not for the faint of heart, but it was BRILLIANT.

By this point the ground was so hot that we were running everywhere we could just to get some shade to walk on!! We ran over to the aqua racer and just about burned our feet off, especially on the red astro turf which we expected to provide some relief, but which in fact scorched our feet beyond anything else instead!!

Aqua racer was crappy. Especially compared to the one here at Adventure Park. They make you sit down to start!! And it was just stupid. Mike clearly won, but it said he came 3rd or something obscure. Ripped off!

After lunch we hit up a couple of other slides (again burning our feet right off, but it was worth it to watch Jarrad sprinting up the hill in search of comfort!) before going back and doing some of the bigger ones again.

I went on the Kamikaze with Leo this time and our combined weight (about 10kgs over the limit), meant we went right to the top of the thing!

The Tornado re-visit incorporated Steve trying to get us as high up as possible as well as trying to get the funniest photo we could. It was pretty good and I think Steve and Leo bought it in the end! Then back to the surfrider (again, very proud of Leah) and the Mach 5 before lazing around in the lagoon river.

Steve and Leo came back to where we were staying and we had dinner out on the waterfront. Jarrad learned the delicate art of chopsticks and that was the end of our third day!!